Billinge finished victorious in the St Helens derby as they beat local rivals Pilkington 7-2 away from home. Rob Ablewhite and Jonathan Redmond both scored a hat trick, while Dec Gregson also found the net for Billinge. This was the third win of the season for Billinge and puts them on ten points going into the new year.
Garswood United moved into fourth place as they beat Sandbach United 4-1 away from home. This puts them three points behind Crewe, having played a game more.
Congleton Vale will go into the new year as league leaders after beating Daten 2-0 at home. Two goals from Dec Fletcher in the 56th and 76th minutes ensured Congleton remain four points clear at the top, having played three games more than second place Malpas.
Malpas kept up the pressure on top spot as they won 3-1 at home against Warrington Town Reserves. The game started at a good pace with both teams looking for an early break through. Malpas looked good out wide and Warrington looked to move the ball in field. Malpas opened the scoring after 18 minutes, with a flowing move down the right. Andy Morris had his back to goal, turned and flicked the ball up before shooting past the Warrington keeper to make it 1-0.
Before the half was over, Malpas made it 2-0 as Alex Hughes found Danny Lloyd who picked out Morris making it 2-0 with 37 minutes played. Warrington had good periods of play in the half although not really creating any clear openings.
The second half saw Warrington pushing from the start and they got the reward when a flowing move saw Richie Allen hit home for 2-1 in the 51st minute. Warrington continued to press but Conner Tinsley in the Malpas goal pulled off two outstanding saves low down to keep Malpas ahead. At the other end, Malpas did not take the half chances made and the game continued to be tight as the clock ticked away. Malpas made changes with Warrington starting to pin them back and as Malpas broke down an attacking move, Mike Gibbs and Danny Lloyd worked the ball down the right picking out Andy Morris who ran and shot in the 70th minute, completing his hat trick and securing the three points for Malpas.
Middlewich Town moved up to 6th place as they beat Grappenhall Sports 3-1 at home. Middlewich opened the scoring in the 4th minute when Chris Lunn played Mike Brandon through and he chipped the Grappenhall keeper from 20 yards to make it 1-0. However this pushed Grappenhall into action and four minutes later they were back on level terms when Tucker, in the Middlewich goal, brought down the Grappenhall striker who equalised from the resulting penalty.
The game continued on an even keel but the 42nd minute saw Middlewich go back in front. A corner from Joe OSullivan landed perfectly for Carl Wade, who hooked the ball on the volley and smashed it into the net from close range.
Middlewich secured the victory 15 minutes from time when Matthew Jamieson was played through on the right hand side and finished low and hard from the edge of the box to make it 3-1.
JA Walton Challenge Cup
Lostock Gralam top group two as they finished 5-2 winners over second place Maine Road Reserves.
The first chance of the game fell to Maine Road when Sam Barnett put Josh Harper through on goal but his shot hit the side netting. Three minutes later and Lostock were in front when good work from Kyle Wilding saw him send a low pass across the 6 yard box for Chris Bailey to tap in at the far post.
Soon after, Wilding was involved again when a long ball to his feet saw him split the defence and beat Maine Road keeper Cain Merrick to finish well for 2-0.
Wilding had found his form and as he danced through the Maine Road defence, a great save from Cain Merrick kept the score at 2-0. Ten minutes before the break, Maine Road were awarded a free kick 25 yards from goal. Nick Osborne curved his shot around the wall and left the Lostock goalkeeper flat footed as it hit the back of the net for 2-1. The goal lit the fire for Maine Road and they finished the half on top as they controlled possession but Lostock took a deserved lead into the break.
Lostock started the second half strongly and soon extended their lead to 3-1 when Wilding ran unchallenged through the midfield before sending his shot into the back of the net. Lostock continued to press and were unlucky not to extend their lead as a shot rattled the post.
With 20 minutes remaining Sam Barnett picked up a corner clearance on the edge of the box for Maine Road but his shot went wide.
Michael Clarke put the game beyond Maine Roads reach in the 71st minute The ball was knocked across field to the left winger who put in a good first time cross into the middle of the 6 yard box and Clarke volleyed home with an excellent strike.
Maine Road were thrown a lifeline in the 82nd minute when the Lostock keeper came out of his box to clear the ball but scuffed the shot along the floor, straight to the feet of Calum Broady just inside the half. Broady met the ball first time and struck it cleanly, straight over the head of the keeper and into the back of the net for 4-2.
Lostock were not to be beaten though and with three minutes to play, Wilding completed his hat trick as he raced along the wing and directed his shot into the back of the net.
Wythenshawe Town made it ten league wins from ten as they demolished West Didsbury & Chorlton Reserves 8-0 at home. Ben Brooks was in fine form as he bagged a hat trick, while Ben Connolly and Ash Woodhead both scored twice and a further goal came from Remmi Williams.
The win leaves Wythenshawe eight points clear of second place FC Woodford with three games in hand and unbeaten in their first Cheshire League campaign going into Christmas.
Reserve League One
Rylands and Middlewich Town shared the points in an entertaining 3-3 draw. Sam Stockley gave Middlewich an early lead as he knocked the ball into the net following a goalmouth scramble but a great strike from Craig Mather saw Rylands draw level before the half time whistle.
Midway through the second half Rylands raced into a commanding lead as they scored two identical goals from corners. The first ball fell perfectly for Mather to grab his second of the game, while Mike Southern added a third from the same position.
With five minutes remaining Rylands looked comfortable but Middlewich substitute Matty Wakefield tapped the ball home from close range after good work by Elliott Goryl.
Straight from the kick off Craig Mather hit a forty yard back pass and the resulting clearance from Moss in the Rylands goal cannoned off the back of Wakefield and dropped into the empty net to earn Middlewich a point.
Reserve League Cup
Daten and Garswood United shared the points in a 2-2 draw. The point moves Daten up to second in the group having played seven games.
Reserve League Two
After a rocky start to the season, Denton Town will finish the year in third place after drawing 2-2 away at West Didsbury & Chorlton A. They now sit two points behind the top two sides, with all three having played ten games.
Report – Kat Davey